Dental professionals starting their own practice typically need the help of a number of different people. There are practice management consultants who specialize in helping dentists launch or improve their practices. If your plan is to renovate the practice space, for instance, consider seeking out a dental-specific contractor who is familiar with clinical buildouts and knows how to incorporate equipment into your design plans. Likewise, you may choose the services of a CPA who specializes in dental clients. Generally speaking, people familiar with how dental practices work can more easily give profession-specific advice that may help your bottom line.
You may also not want to overlook the importance of your own staff, especially if you have purchased an established practice. Receptionists, hygienists, billing staff — these individuals may have knowledge to help you to succeed more quickly.
Perform Due Diligence
If you are purchasing a practice, it’s generally a good idea to research the geographic area of the intended practice thoroughly, making note of demographics that could impact your business. For instance, if you're an orthodontist, you may want to see how many established practices are already in your target area and chart population figures over the last couple of censuses. A declining population of young families is an indication of slowed growth and an area that may not be the best place to establish your practice.
If you feel uneasy about the business side of the practice, you also might consider learning more about how a dental business operates. Interactive healthcare communities like Dentaltown give you access to peers at all experiential levels, giving you the ability to learn more about the profitable business models of other practices.
Set Goals And Work Hard To Reach Them
Having a strong work ethic may be one of the more important things you can do to increase profitability. Whether they are short-term, or part of your five-year plan, you might want to consider setting clear professional and practice goals as a series of achievable targets you can strive toward.
Making your staff aware of a certain target — for instance, telling them that you wish to increase the number of hygienist appointments by 20 percent in the next quarter — may be one way to instill a shared sense of purpose. Sharing goals with staff might also help you to achieve greater accountability and spur even more new goals.
Remembering the Importance of Life/Work Balance
According to Sherrie Scott, writing for Chron, staff retention is vital to an organization's success. High turnover rates not only cost employers money but also have a negative effect on employee morale. Keeping that in mind, you may want to cultivate an office environment that caters to your employees. For instance, you might make your employee’s hours somewhat flexible. Other options include benefits packages, bonuses or rewards for performance.
Dentists who remember that their team members are human, and treat them accordingly, may not only get loyal people working for them but also get more business in the way of referrals. When your staff is happy that can make your whole practice more welcoming and friendly, something dental patients really value.
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